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Julius

Cyberpunk 2077 (10th December 2020)

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4 minutes ago, Ronnie said:

Whenever the internet turns against something, it really turn against something. Dog-piling I think is the term?

I mean, you can't blame them really? It's been an absolute disaster of a release.
It's fascinating to watch just how much things were fudged up with this game.

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8 minutes ago, Glen-i said:

I mean, you can't blame them really? It's been an absolute disaster of a release.
It's fascinating to watch just how much things were fudged up with this game.

For sure, I'm not saying most of it isn't justified, but generally when something gets on the wrong side of the internet, it's pretty much destroyed from all corners, with new things discovered given extra attention.

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36 minutes ago, Ronnie said:

Whenever the internet turns against something, it really turn against something. Dog-piling I think is the term?

I'd personally use that more when referring to an individual on the receiving end but that might just be a me thing. 

This feels more like a consumer outrage based on actual problems, dog-pile is a bit more "this person displeases me, attack!" (usually conducted by quote retweeting in order to gain traction). I do wonder if a class action is afoot, seems like a natural progression at this point.

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4 minutes ago, Ashley said:

attack!

 

5 minutes ago, Ashley said:

I do wonder if a class action is afoot, seems like a natural progression at this point.

Think I read somewhere that it's already in the works.

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Yeah it wouldn't surprise me. I think the lack of transparency about how it runs on current (former?) generation consoles is the main thing that's going against them. Even if we're generous and say they were just trying to publicise it at its best, which is a natural inclination, there wasn't enough transparency about how it will/could run on those consoles which then becomes misleading consumers. 

All the bugs don't help too, but had it just been that then I think they could have ridden that tide of criticism through, but as it is it seems that it'll get worse for them before it gets better. Although I do think ultimately if they can fix the majority of the issues and provide better performance all around they'll be able to see this through. They'll take a dent but survive.

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Just now, Ashley said:

Even if we're generous and say they were just trying to publicise it at its best, which is a natural inclination, there wasn't enough transparency about how it will/could run on those consoles which then becomes misleading consumers. 

It's worse than not being transparent enough. They actually said something like "the game runs surprisingly well on last-gen consoles".

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2 minutes ago, drahkon said:

It's worse than not being transparent enough. They actually said something like "the game runs surprisingly well on last-gen consoles".

Oh really? Well that's not helping matters!

I thought they just kept schtum about the current consoles.

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15 minutes ago, Ashley said:

Oh really? Well that's not helping matters!

I thought they just kept schtum about the current consoles.

Yeah, it's kinda nuts how mad the whole thing is.

Naturally, Jim Sterling just released a video talking about the whole debacle this past week.

 

Edited by Glen-i

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Cheers, may watch that at some point to catch up, although I tend to find his style grating. I didn't really follow the game until after it was out but it would be good to be better informed.

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To me it's not the bugs and performance issues at all, it's that the game doesn't sound quite as good as I expected it to be. I was thinking this might be another Red Dead Redemption 2 in terms of the openworld but it seems it's not that at all, with NPC AI being really poor that stuck out specially.

11 minutes ago, Glen-i said:

Naturally, Jim Sterling just released a video talking about the whole debacle this past week.

Naturally. :indeed:

Edited by Ronnie

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Just now, Ronnie said:

Naturally. :indeed:

I mean, he mostly covers controversies in the gaming industry, I don't know why anyone would expect them not to cover this.

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Just now, Glen-i said:

I mean, he mostly covers controversies in the gaming industry, I don't know why anyone would expect them not to cover this.

Sorry I wasn't suggesting it wasn't obvious that he would do one, I just find his whole act really tedious. 

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Hey everyone, I'm here for the dogpile.

First thing I want to say is that I am a little gutted for Poland. That story about the PM giving Obama a copy of the game (edit: copy of Witcher 3, not cyberpunk) shows the pride there must be in that country over a creating a bonafide AAA, and thus the kickback against this must hurt. You would think a more global industry kicks up more inventive and inspired game making, and so should be encouraged.

But I've been trying to find a word, maybe the forum can help me - one that differentiates ambition (which should always be praised), from an enterprise where lofty goals are reliant on the sacrifices of others (employees in this case). Like slaves building the pyramids, its ambitious but I won't be praising the Kings of Egypt anytime soon for their endeavors. Similarly I'm not impressed by a character creator where some poor bastard has had to work overtime rendering ball hair. It is maximalism for the sake of it - there's no artistic merit and the people who are going to get rich off of it haven't even had to sweat to make it happen. 

But what has really been nagging me is the same thing that bugged me about Last of Us 2 - a way of making games that hold the same design philosophy of technical prowess and graphical fidelity that games companies held 20 years ago whilst they were working in the 3D space for the first time, but with 100x the effort and one tenth of the returns. AAA studios are torturing their increasingly large and expensive workforces putting these games out, which when there are released are unfinished, whilst doing nothing inventive with their gameplay. 

 

Edited by LazyBoy
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42 minutes ago, Ronnie said:

Sorry I wasn't suggesting it wasn't obvious that he would do one, I just find his whole act really tedious. 

Ahh, but he's gone and done a nice little song and everything.

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19 minutes ago, Sheikah said:

Ahh, but he's gone and done a nice little song and everything.

In my head I'm assuming it's to the classic Spider-Man tune. 

🎶 Cyberpunk, cyberpunk, does it work? Does it fuck.🎶

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It's kind of crazy to think that the developer have gone from this really 'pro consumer' mindset with free-DLC to basically creating one of the biggest screw ups in modern gaming. I really feel sorry for the millions who preordered the game and also the developers, who have been enduring crunch for the best part of a year. Truthfully, the game seems to have been released 6-12 months too early. 

Releasing a buggy game is of course awful. What's worse however is that they hid how broken the game was and ensured that all reviews for PS4 / XBO versions of the game were done on next gen consoles via BC. I don't recall this ever being done before and it's pretty crazy to think that the higher ups at the company thought that they could get away with it. Shame on them.

What happens next? If I was a stakeholder I'd be fuming, but assuming they don't sue the company then I imagine a way out is to simply work flat out on fixing the game whilst releasing free DLC. 

What I find so weird about this whole thing though is that the game doesn't even appear to be that revolutionary in terms of its gameplay? It's basically just a great open world title; nothing more, nothing less. 

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14 minutes ago, Goron_3 said:

What I find so weird about this whole thing though is that the game doesn't even appear to be that revolutionary in terms of its gameplay? It's basically just a great open world title; nothing more, nothing less. 

Jim Sterling's video above kind of touches on this.

Simply put, CDPR garnered a massive amount of goodwill when Witcher 3 was very well received, but what most failed to realise is that Witcher 3's quality wasn't typical of CDPR's output. (That sounds mean to the developers, know that I don't mean to be that harsh)

So Cyberpunk started gaining a lot of excitement from people who loved Witcher 3 because "Hey it's CDPR! They did Witcher 3! Cyberpunk is bound to be amazing" and I imagine it piled a lot of pressure on CDPR. And that's probably what caused this game to collapse in on itself.

They were out of their depth.

Edited by Glen-i

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I'm going to come at this from a different angle. 

The blame for this mess up is solely on the shareholders of CDPR. That I am not willing to excuse in the slightest. The game should have been delayed on PS4 and Xbox One as a minimum. 

The developers, however, have not had to endure anything like the crunch we've read about from other studios, especially in the USA (Rockstar sticks out). I think they only crunched from October to release and were paid well for it. The developers themselves also stand to make a massive amount of profit from the sales of the game (think it's 10%) of net profit. It was worked out a while ago on Twitter I think that each employee stands to make 45-50,000 euros in bonuses if the game nets 500 million. That's a house in Poland. This whole narrative that the developers are being "forced" into crunch and that it is absolutely life destroying is completely wrong. They earn many, many multiple times the average salary of a typical Polish worker without even considering their bonuses. I am sure if they found the work/life balance untenable they would leave. Polish labour laws are much stricter than say, the USA. I know in the U.K. if you want to work overtime, you have to sign a document from your employer that you are willing to work more than 40 hours per week, otherwise it is illegal. Anyone who crunched most certainly agreed to it. Maybe there was pressure, but there is also great reward. The gaming industry is not the only industry where people have to crunch. Hell, I have to do it some weeks if we have a heavy workload 50 or 60+ hours, seven days a week sometimes, and while it sucks, it's almost always worth it in the end. The day that it isn't is the day that I'll move on and do something else. It's not like game devs don't have transferable skills and a wealth of opportunities at their feet.  

The thing I find most infuriating about all of this is the supposed lack of agency placed on developers, the idea that working hard and long hours is somehow shameful, frowned upon and without reward. And the corporations that "force" people to do it are somehow "evil" (except EA, they totally are) We used to cherish people with an all-or-nothing work ethic in our society. They are the ones who drive humanity forward. Gaming is an industry where it is almost impossible to find massive success without sacrifice. I would like to think that those devs who aren't up to the job would walk away. If the reward isn't worth it, why wouldn't they just leave? They are not prisoners. Take a job with a better work / life balance, but you will be rewarded in kind. 

As for the shareholders, they're just short-sighted, which is to be expected I guess. The higher-ups in the dev. team should have said no, but alas, here we are. They've potentially ruined their well-earned reputation (and, to some extent, that of Poland, as @LazyBoy pointed out) for a quick buck. And that is the real shame here. 

I have enjoyed what I've played of Cyberpunk (7-8 hours) and while it's not as groundbreaking as I thought it would be, it still pushes the genre forward. It could have done with another six months in the oven, for sure, but come the end of next year, I'm hopeful this saga will be in the back of our minds and we'll be able to celebrate what will eventually be a massive achievement.

My biggest hope is that it will be a lesson to all studios as we try to balance the almost insurmountable divide between the expectation of shareholders and the expectations of the consumers. 

Edited by Nicktendo
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There are parts I disagree with (but responding on my phone while cooking will mean I'll have to expand on it later) but just to point out that rule you point out is the EU Working Time Directive (or a name similar to that) so it would apply in Poland too.

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I'm going to come at this from a different angle.  The blame for this mess up is solely on the shareholders of CDPR. That I am not willing to excuse in the slightest. The game should have been delayed on PS4 and Xbox One as a minimum. The developers, however, have not had to endure anything like the crunch we've read about from other studios, especially in the USA (Rockstar sticks out). I think they only crunched from October to release and were paid well for it. The developers themselves also stand to make a massive amount of profit from the sales of the game (think it's 10%) of net profit. It was worked out a while ago on Twitter I think that each employee stands to make 45-50,000 euros in bonuses if the game nets 500 million. That's a house in Poland. This whole narrative that the developers are being "forced" into crunch and that it is absolutely life destroying is completely wrong. They earn many, many multiple times the average salary of a typical Polish worker without even considering their bonuses. I am sure if they found the work/life balance untenable they would leave. Polish labour laws are much stricter than say, the USA. I know in the U.K. if you want to work overtime, you have to sign a document from your employer that you are willing to work more than 40 hours per week, otherwise it is illegal. Anyone who crunched most certainly agreed to it. Maybe there was pressure, but there is also great reward. The gaming industry is not the only industry where people have to crunch. Hell, I have to do it some weeks if we have a heavy workload 50 or 60+ hours, seven days a week sometimes, and while it sucks, it's almost always worth it in the end. The day that it isn't is the day that I'll move on and do something else. It's not like game devs don't have transferable skills and a wealth of opportunities at their feet.  

The thing I find most infuriating about all of this is the supposed lack of agency placed on developers, the idea that working hard and long hours is somehow shameful, frowned upon and without reward. And the corporations that "force" people to do it are somehow "evil" (except EA, they totally are) We used to cherish people with an all-or-nothing work ethic in our society. They are the ones who drive humanity forward. Gaming is an industry where it is almost impossible to find massive success without sacrifice. I would like to think that those devs who aren't up to the job would walk away. If the reward isn't worth it, why wouldn't they just leave? They are not prisoners. Take a job with a better work / life balance, but you will be rewarded in kind. 

As for the shareholders, they're just short-sighted, which is to be expected I guess. The higher-ups in the dev. team should have said no, but alas, here we are. They've potentially ruined their well-earned reputation (and, to some extent, that of Poland, as [mention=412]LazyBoy[/mention] pointed out) for a quick buck. And that is the real shame here. 

I have enjoyed what I've played of Cyberpunk (7-8 hours) and while it's not as groundbreaking as I thought it would be, it still pushes the genre forward. It could have done with another six months in the oven, for sure, but come the end of next year, I'm hopeful this saga will be in the back of our minds and we'll be able to celebrate what will eventually be a massive achievement.

My biggest hope is that it will be a lesson to all studios as we try to balance the almost insurmountable divide between the expectation of shareholders and the expectations of the consumers.

 

A lot of your points about how they haven't been crunched have been made before but I really don't agree with them. They're being paid so it's fine, nobody explicitly said they had to crunch, they could leave if they wanted; or the worst one - I have to work hard too, so why should they have it good? That last one is a real sticking point for me, and generally a problem I see often in society. People themselves don't have a nice thing, so feel some bitterness towards the prospect of others having a nice thing. Just to note, I'm not saying that overtime or long hours aren't normal sometimes for everyone, but this is a case of extended months of 6-day weeks and very long hours.

 

It's easy to say nobody is forcing them to work like crazy but often the case is that you're expected to do it. If they don't do it then likely they won't be put forward for promotion or have it otherwise marked against them. It can be very difficult to break out of an estsblished norm if the company has one and the end result is people getting burned out. It's a bit of a shit situation.

 

I agree completely that higher ups/stakeholders are to blame here, but let's not go down that well-trod path of playing down crunch as a non issue. Even if they're well compensated, extended periods of (implicitly) forced crunch to serve the deadlines of higher ups is not good, especially for the mental health of employees. Not least because it resulted in a bug ridden game in spite of them doing multiple crunches for each of the many release dates the game had. They would have been better off not crunching and actually finishing the game properly.

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37 minutes ago, Sheikah said:

A lot of your points about how they haven't been crunched have been made before but I really don't agree with them.

From mid-October I said they were crunched. Before that they weren't and it's been documented countless times. 

37 minutes ago, Sheikah said:

They're being paid so it's fine, nobody explicitly said they had to crunch, they could leave if they wanted; or the worst one - I have to work hard too, so why should they have it good? That last one is a real sticking point for me, and generally a problem I see often in society. People themselves don't have a nice thing, so feel some bitterness towards the prospect of others having a nice thing. Just to note, I'm not saying that overtime or long hours aren't normal sometimes for everyone, but this is a case of extended months of 6-day weeks and very long hours.

You want nice things, you have to work hard. You want groundbreaking games, you need the devs to put in the work. I wouldn't say 2 months is "extended". There is absolutely no bitterness from my side so I have no idea where you're getting that from. I respect the fact they worked flat out to meet the release date, even if they failed on the base consoles. They will be rewarded for that hard work, as they should be. What I have to do has fuck all with CD Projekt Red. I work long hours because I want to and I do it with pleasure. 

37 minutes ago, Sheikah said:

It's easy to say nobody is forcing them to work like crazy but often the case is that you're expected to do it. If they don't do it then likely they won't be put forward for promotion or have it otherwise marked against them. It can be very difficult to break out of an estsblished norm if the company has one and the end result is people getting burned out. It's a bit of a shit situation.

And rightly so. You want the best of the best to be at the top of the company. Life isn't a game of "everybody wins". The cream always rises to the top. 

I know it's supposed to be a joke, but it's still true. Why try if you don't want to succeed? 

37 minutes ago, Sheikah said:

I agree completely that higher ups/stakeholders are to blame here, but let's not go down that well-trod path of playing down crunch as a non issue. Even if they're well compensated, extended periods of (implicitly) forced crunch to serve the deadlines of higher ups is not good, especially for the mental health of employees. Not least because it resulted in a bug ridden game in spite of them doing multiple crunches for each of the many release dates the game had. They would have been better off not crunching and actually finishing the game properly.

Same Brentian principle applies, if they can't cut it, they shouldn't be there. The world isn't all candy canes and rainbows. You get out what you put in. 

Having said that though, I agree entirely with your final point. There shouldn't be a need for crunch. Unfortunately, the insatiable demands of modern society and consumerism have made crunch inevitable, and maybe it's time people started looking inward before criticising the life choices of others and diminishing the hard work a very select few are prepared to do. 

Edited by Nicktendo
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20 minutes ago, Ashley said:

You realise David Brent is the villain... Right?

He is definitely not the villain. 

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15 minutes ago, Nicktendo said:

From mid-October I said they were crunched. Before that they weren't and it's been documented countless times. 

That's not what I was getting at. I was suggesting that based on your other comments, you were implying that it wasn't really crunch at all, which I disagree with.

15 minutes ago, Nicktendo said:

You want nice things, you have to work hard. You want groundbreaking games, you need the devs to put in the work.

Cyberpunk is neither groundbreaking nor a particularly great game, so how can you justify crunch in this case?

15 minutes ago, Nicktendo said:

I wouldn't say 2 months is "extended".

2 months is the minimum. In reality it was probably closer to three. Three months of 6-day weeks and long days - absolutely that is a long period of time that will burn the employees out (in fact there are complaints that happened). These people are not saving lives here, they are making games. There's literally no need for crunch here. The sad thing is that's it's to serve the stakeholders. What is the worst that would happen if they didn't have 6-day week crunch and long days near the finish? It would take 20-30% longer at the end to do the same amount of work? Perhaps less as rested, contented employees do better work. You see what I am saying here?

15 minutes ago, Nicktendo said:

There is absolutely no bitterness from my side so I have no idea where you're getting that from.

Maybe bitterness is the wrong word. Rather, some level of normalisation leads people to think bad practice is fine, because they experience bad practices themselves. Or people suffer bad work conditions then don't want to see others have better working rights, especially not if the other people are getting paid more.

15 minutes ago, Nicktendo said:

I respect the fact they worked flat out to meet the release date, even if they failed on the base consoles. They will be rewarded for that hard work, as they should be. What I have to do has fuck all with CD Projekt Red. I work long hours because I want to and I do it with pleasure. 

Your post here what I am getting at. Why do you respect them for working like dogs, when they are basically made to do that? In my view I hold the greatest respect for companies that value the wellbeing of their employees and who manage to develop games without doing that. There was one big game dev, I forget who, who said they don't crunch at all - so it's very much possible. Crunch is essentially a failure of management. If you can develop games but without burning out your workforce, surely that's better, no?

If you want to work long hours then good on you, but I don't see what that has to do with anything we are discussing here.

15 minutes ago, Nicktendo said:

And rightly so. You want the best of the best to be at the top of the company. Life isn't a game of "everybody wins". The cream always rises to the top. 

I know it's supposed to be a joke, but it's still true. Why try if you don't want to succeed? 

Wah...okay. I'm surprised to see you say this - you know the cream "at the top" are the ones crunching the people below? So is the ideal to have a bad ending to the Hunger Games scenario - fight to the top to impose misery on everyone else? I don't think so...

15 minutes ago, Nicktendo said:

Same Brentian principle applies, if they can't cut it, they shouldn't be there. The world isn't all candy canes and rainbows. You get out what you put in. 

I don't think I've more strongly disagreed with a statement in a looooong time. 

You could go back through history and utter that sentiment time and time again. Oh you want minimum wage do you? Well sounds like you're just not cut out for this!

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